Congratulations, you’ve done everything right since you have come into the market. You’ve identified your ideal projects, you’ve met with the owners and enticed them on the value you company can provide and won a bid based on that value as opposed to lowball offers like your competitors were trying to do. The plan is in your hands now, you’ve been given a timeline and it’s time to work. In this moment of high tempo excitement and urgency many companies start off on the wrong foot by running up high mobilization costs without first breaking down the fine details of the project timeline. To keep up the success you have already line up for yourself, it is important to at least take 5-10% of your allotted time to complete the project to do some in depth on ground analysis of the site and take a good long hard look at your timeline and credit line or cashflow to ensure your mobilization plan makes the most sense and ultimately is most cost effective for your project.
Many construction professionals may look at that statement and say to themselves, whoah! 5%- 10% man, time is money and the sooner I finish this project the more accolades our company will receive. While true, finishing a project ahead of schedule is a quintessential characteristic of a phenomenal construction company it is in the vital first step of mobilization that your project timelines will either be hit or severely missed. Mobilization is the act of bringing everything that is needed to complete a project to the job site. This can be done all at once or it can be scaled to meet your project timeline and budget. This is especially true if equipment is being rented. Figuring out what method is best for you and streamlining the mobilization process by inspecting the project site to establish workflow (entry/exit points), plan your operating infrastructure (where are you placing your mobile offices? What internet service will you use? Where are the port-a-johns going?”). This is the pre-mobilization process and a good pre-mob plan can turn your project into an operation even the greatest military generals would be jealous of.
The following are three ways you can streamline your pre-mob processes to maximize the efficiency of execution and lower costs:
Have a standardized Mobilization check-list- No one knows your business better than you do and after having done several jobs this list should be compiled to help streamline future jobs. This is a list with objectives that must be accomplished prior to commencing your project in order to be successful. Each item on the list should be easy to read, grouped with like objectives to allow for better flow and understand-ability, a timeline associated along with contact information from who to source from, and a box or blank space where an initial and date can be placed so you can not only check off the items as they’re completed but supervisors can check on the progress as it is being done without wasting time.
Established relationship with a material supplier: Nothing can be built without the raw and semi-finished materials your company sculpts into place to erect a structure. Having a pre-established relationship with a material supplier who can support your area of operations will allow you to drive down costs due to economies of scale. No supplier will turn down a repeat client who buys in bulk. If you can do the same thing with more than one supplier you’ve hit gold! Having more than one supplier will reduce your dependency and will drive down prices through competition.
Established relationship with a 3rd party logistics provider: Logistics is an industry with professionals who know how to maximize the efficiency of the flow of materials through a supply chain. Having an established relationship with a company that can help provide sourcing, transportation, and warehousing services to your operation frees you and your team to focus on the project at hand without having to worry about the stresses involved and everything logistics. Working with a good 3PL (or a couple to minimize dependency and maximize efficiency) can allow you to eliminate the need to have a good materials supplier because a good 3PL will make it so you tell them what you need and where you need it and it arrives when you need it. Seriously, it will seem like everything just simply arrived at the work site. Lastly, as you are working with just one company, all the sourcing, transporting, warehousing, etc. will be billed to just one company. Making accounting much easier to manage.
The following video an overview of a few things you may want to put on your mobilization checklist for job site setup.